Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Love Me Tender

Couloumbis, Audrey. 2008. Love Me Tender.

"Early Friday afternoon, Daddy left mad.
He carried his guitar. The weather had turned so hot, the sweaty circles on his T-shirt looked like the wings of an insect against his back.
I followed him, dragging his duffel and panting, "Daddy, this thing is too heavy. What all are you carrying in here?"
What, besides his blue suede shoes and tight white jeans, did he need?"

The narrator of Love Me Tender is thirteen-year-old Elvira. The oldest of what will soon be three children. She's got an eight year old sister, Kerrie, and another sibling on the way. Her mom, whom she calls Mel because that's what her Daddy calls her, is seven months pregnant and very, very cranky. Elvira is worried that it's only going to get worse from here on out--first the hormones of pregnancy, later the diapers and crying and babysitting.

The family is in the beginning stages of crisis. Her dad is unhappy with his job, her mom is unhappy and moody with this unplanned pregnancy, and her younger sister has reverted to acting like a three year old. When we first meet the family, it doesn't look good. The parents have just had a big fight. Her dad is on his way to Vegas. On his way to compete in an Elvis impersonator competition. Her mom is glued to the recliner and hooked to cheesy TV movies. And her sister is driving her crazy.

And then the phone call comes.

It's a strange call. Almost cryptic. Mel's sister, Clare, says simply that their mother's time has come. Thinking that she only has hours--maybe a day or two--to make amends with her estranged family, Mel quickly packs up her two kids, borrows her husband's most prized possession--a classic car in great condition--and heads to Memphis, Tennessee. Taking turns behind the wheel, Mel and Elvira make it to her grandmother's house--just barely with all their nerves and spirits intact. (After a bit of a scare with Kerrie and some "toy" eyelashes.)

This will be the children's first time to meet their grandmother, and to meet their mother's younger sister, Clare. That family--much like Elvira's--seems to be in crisis as well. Clare is convinced that her mother--their mother--needs to be put in a nursing home.

During this weekend, lives will changes, fences will be mended, there will be laughter and tears as well.

Family drama galore (mainly through intense conversations/confrontations) is what you'll find in Love Me Tender.

Honestly, I thought this one was a bit disappointing. When I see the name Coulombis, I expect better things, greater things. Not that this one was bad, it just wasn't as magical as I expected. The premise, the author, the cover, I expected to be wowed a bit more than I was. I kept reading thinking that there was a big reveal on the way, something huge that would shake this family up, something that would act as a catalyst for this family. But nothing really happened.

Other reviews: Flamingnet, Not Acting My Age,

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

Amanda 2:26 AM  

I completely agree with your thoughts on this one. Not quite as stellar as I expected. Great writing, but somewhat disappointing in plot.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP